Space bar for play/pause

• Oct 8, 2010 - 12:35
S5 - Suggestion

It has been discussed several times, MuseScore uses space bar to enter rests and so can't use it to play/pause.
Unfortunatly, it seems to be a popular request and an habit to use space bar to stop and start playback. All the major media player or score writers use space for this purpose including VLC, Spotify, Sibelius, iTunes but surprisingly not Finale (no shortcut?) or Noteworthy (F5 / F6). I open this feature request to gather opinions.


Finale uses Space+click to start playback from the measure you click on.

I generally support using space bar for playback. Any ideas for the shortcut for rests?

I like this suggestion.

How about: unless a note is manually selected (using the keys or mouse), play/pause dominates the space bar?

I have assigned the windows "menu" key for playback. Works fine for me - you have it very well placed for your right hand fingers.


Using 0 (Zero) for rests would be familiar for Sibelius users. It's one of the few keys still available in MuseScore.

ph: The Windows "menu" is fine for personal use but I wouldn't recommend MuseScore adopt it as default. It would interfere with the key's intended purpose on Windows, and people on Mac OS don't have a menu key. Also Space is commonly used for play/pause in media applications (and video on the web) so people wouldn't need to learn a special shortcut specific to MuseScore.

chen lung: I would prefer that Space started playback in all modes (except text editing). In current versions of MuseScore, playback starts from the selected note which I find useful.

I think the problem can be solved easy.

Now when you press space it automatically switch to note input mode. That's slightly unexpected. Because if I press any note input key, that will not switch me to note input mode.

- when program is Note input mode space should work as rest (I don't want to loose this feature)
- when program is not in Note input mode space should work as start/stop playing

@ratz if you press space or any note input key you do switch in input mode currently

I like the idea of using 0. It will work well for people with numpad in any language. The main issue will be Mac users with no numpad like on a macbook. It's already a problem for note duration. This could be solved by using an exportable and sharable list of shortcuts. I would be able for example to create a list of shortcuts to use on a macbook in french.
Sibelius by relying on the presence of a numpad has the same problem. Just search for numpad and sibelius on google to be convince. The advice is often to get a decent keyboard or a phone app.

Status (old) active fixed

Fixed in r. 3570 (trunk)

I used the regular 0 (Zero) for rests. Like the duration shortcuts in MuseScore you have to turn on NumLock if you want to use the number pad.

Neither Finale or Sibelius are convenient to use on a laptop without a number pad. One of MuseScore's strengths is that it works well on smaller computers.

Using the space bar for rests drives me crazy (or at least more so) when using MuseScore. I expect the space bar to be used for playback due to other audio/notation programs (as mentioned this discussion), so I am always trying to do that. Also, space-click-drag is how panning on the page is done in Adobe Illustrator (compared to click-drag in MuseScore and Sibelius), which causes greater problems: when I press and hold down the space bar in Musescore, the program starts erasing everything... I am also too lazy to reassign the function of the space key, since I use Musescore on different computers and it would take too long to keep changing on every computer.

By the way, Finale has at least four commands for rests: tab, 0, alt-enter, and shift-enter.

There will always be other programs that use different conventions. I don't think Musescore should select a system just because other do it that way.

I still like the idea of having the space bar have 2 different uses, depending on mode:
Start/stop during play mode.
Rest in edit mode.